Las Grietas :: Santa Cruz Island
This site is very close to Puerto Ayora, west of Academy Bay.
To get there you need to take a panga from the Municipal pier to the dock at the Hotel Delfin, from there you have to follow the trail that passes through the lagoons, the beach and the residential area until you reach the cliff of the largest crevice. The trail is marked with stakes in the park.
It is open area, but we must take precautions, since a fall from the edge of the cliff could be fatal.
A guide is not required to go to this sector. It is important to collect trash from around and not carry organic food that has seeds. All garbage must be brought back to town.
The lagoons found on the path are salt water and are an ideal place for migratory and coastal birds such as Black-Necked Stilts, Whimbrels, White-cheeked Pintail ducks, Lava gulls and Ruddy Turnstones.
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In Las Grietas you can appreciate two layers of water very clearly. The surface water is fresh water that filters down from the top before reaching the ravine and the bottom water is salt water entering from the sea. The mixture of these two waters is called brackish water, which is used as running water in the town of Puerto Ayora.
The giant cactus that can be seen along the way have evolved looking for light so as to not be covered by the dense brush or for protection from land iguanas and giant tortoises that once inhabited the area and ate cactus.